My first contribution to Tandy’s challenge was my Christmas lunch, but the day was so riotous that I forgot to ask my guests to fill in the rating form, so the post is probably disqualified by the judges.

This is my second attempt, from a long lunch early in December:

My three guests we strangers to one another; all were clients whom I wanted to thank for the work they’d given me during the year. It was a perfect afternoon, leading into a lovely summer evening.

The starter course was a sandwich of kingklip, chopped onion and potato patties, with a wasabi kissed avocado mousse. (Kingklip (Genypterus capensis) is a member of the cuskeel family (Ophidiidae) and is endemic to Southern African waters.)

Rating average according to: taste, appearance, timing and my hostessing abilities; out of 10: My average was 8. Notable comment: The contrast of textures was lovely; the crunchy onion a sweet surprise after the mild sting of the wasabi.

The wine: Welmoed Chenin Blanc 2010


My main course was a slow roasted Sardinian-style leg of lamb, with a warm salad of herbed baby potatoes, cherry tomatoes and black olives.

The wine: Backsberg Shiraz 2009

Average rating: 9. Notable comment: The lamb was rich and the simplicity of the salad was perfect to undercut this richness.


For dessert I did a trip down memory lane; something we all used to make in our 20s, when we were just setting up home and starting to entertain for the first time. Halved peaches, stuffed with Romany Creams and drizzled with peach juice and brandy before baking. I served these with whipped cream.

Nobody wanted wine with this course, but we relaxed afterwards with coffee and Drambuie.

Everyone rated this 10/10. Notable comment: It was perfect; nostalgic, unpretentious and just the perfect size.


57 Comments Add yours

  1. that looks like a really good meal.

    i never made peaches with romany creams, something to try when i belatedly start growing up

      1. theonlycin says:

        Never mind, I’ll make them for you sometime ;p

  2. What a great thank you! You do amaze me – all the talent and confidence of a true professional. Take a bow, Cin!

    1. theonlycin says:

      Thanks Amy, that’s very kind.

  3. leigh says:

    Beautifully styled, too 🙂

  4. Sdey’s right, it is the most grown up of food…lovely to look out, lovely to read about 🙂 Might try that gorgeous lamb, though.

    1. theonlycin says:

      Very easy, Kate, a dish that cooks itself.

  5. Tandy says:

    this dessert is one I have never come across – I have dipped out 🙂 Thank you for doing this twice xox

    1. theonlycin says:

      Thanks for the challenge Tandy 🙂

  6. Supa says:

    I haven’t done those peaches in years! thanks for reminding me.

    1. theonlycin says:

      You’re welcome, going to be doing a lot of the oldies in the near future 🙂

  7. Madmom says:

    How I wish I was one of your diners now! 🙂
    Beeeeeeeeg hugs to you.

    1. theonlycin says:

      Thanks Madmom *hug*

  8. leeswammes says:

    Very nice foods, Cin! I look up to people who can cook so well. Your guest were very lucky.

    1. theonlycin says:

      They seemed to enjoy themselves 🙂

  9. You can see the love and care that goes into your meals Cindy. Anybody eating at your home is truly privileged.
    🙂 Mandy

  10. I think you shoudl have another “come dine with me challenge”, and i should be one of the judges!!!


      1. theonlycin says:

        I’ll keep you both in mind next time 😉

  11. SuziCate says:

    Sure wish I lived near you! No, then I’d be even fatter because I’d want to stay at your house and eat ALL THE TIME!!!!

  12. halfp1nt says:

    It looks wonderful, Cindy! I must have missed the dessert craze, so I’ll have to make it soon.

    1. theonlycin says:

      The simplicity belies the great taste, Shorty 🙂

  13. slpmartin says:

    I haven’t had breakfast yet…but what you have here would be just perfect. 🙂 Well it may be a little over the top for breakfast…but it is lovely.

    1. theonlycin says:

      Thanks Charlie 😀

  14. Lyndatjie says:

    I want to learn how to cook and not poison people…. *sniff*
    Your creations always look like artforms… I stand in awe as usual.

    1. theonlycin says:

      Aaaw … thanks *hug*

  15. nrhatch says:

    Based on appearance alone, I’d give that dessert a 10/10.

    {{passes glass for a dram of drambuie}} 🙂

  16. Liane says:

    MOUTHWATERING! That notable comment is SPOT ON!!

  17. nursemyra says:

    I’ve never even heard of peaches with romany creams. My staple dessert in the 80s was chocolate mousse

    1. theonlycin says:

      Yes, that was another staple of ours 😉

  18. Sounds scrumptious. The lamb and salad especially look and sound delicious. I can’t wait to have access to an oven again soon

    1. theonlycin says:

      I’m sure you can’t wait 🙂

  19. Pseu says:

    What’s a Romany Cream, please?

    1. Pseu says:

      The lamb looks gorgeous. Is the recipe available, please?!

      1. theonlycin says:

        A Romany Cream is a coconut and chocolate biscuit, sandwiched together with chocolate. I will try to post the lamb recipe soon.

  20. lifeinarecipe says:

    Wow…if you are ever considering doing a cooking tour here in Canada…let me know and I’ll clean up the dining room….just from the pics I would rate this a 20/10!
    Wishing you much health, wealth and happiness in 2011!
    🙂 Cindy

  21. granny1947 says:

    Hello my love…am just sitting here doing some catchup…and dripping with sweat…for once you are lucky NOT to be here…unless you like this sort of weather…Mex is going to be lucky if I even turn the stove on…it is just too damn HOT!
    Love you lots.

    1. theonlycin says:

      Love you too. Salads?

  22. Tokeloshe says:

    Stunning photos!

    What works of art 😉

  23. klrs09 says:

    Wow — someday I would love to be your guest! The lamb looked absolutley delicious. You are a truly talented individual, Cindy.

    1. theonlycin says:

      Thanks Kath, would love to have you as a guest 🙂

  24. From the sound of it, I’d rate it a ten. Lamb! Yum! … and I know my hostess’ timing would be perfect … Sigh! And now I will have my healthy salad topped with grilled salmon and my simple grapes for dessert.

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